Wednesday, February 16, 2011

People of Influence because they believed!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

I learned these words of John 3:16-17 many years ago. Probably at a Vacation Bible School program or in Sunday School. Somewhere, at some time, and in a place where people were dedicated to the Word and to the Kingdom of God, these words were written on my heart. There the words were planted and they grew in me and are still growing even today.

It could have been at home. Mom was our Sunday school teacher for several years not just at church but at home as well. We would hear the words at home or even read them in our bibles. Dad was also there and he may have influenced the words in my heart.

It could have been Jane Disney, Joanne McMannis, or Mrs. Ashley. These three ladies were Sunday School teachers at one point. I don't remember Mrs. Ashley's first name. She was a good and solid example, yet we only called her Mrs. Ashley. It might have been by the living example of Pastor Lloyd and his wife, Dorothy. They not only taught the Word, they lived it in a tangible testimony. As a child, I always had influence in each event at the church.

It might have been Vacation Bible School. I remember themes such as Treasure Island and God's Vineyard. It was a great week for my summer adventures every year. I never cared to much about going to regular school in those years of my life, but VBS was the best and I ALWAYS enjoyed every minute. Those weeks in my summers as a child were a strong influence in my christian maturity.

The words that, "God loved the world so much that He was willing to sacrifice it all and that He did not do all this to condemn us, but to give us life" were etched in and have been an influence in how I love in my life today. The words have certainly have comforted me in our sorrow over the last few weeks. We know that God hurts along side us because he loves us. The words have also brought great conviction over the years. "God so loved that He gave" are a high calling for following the same example and to give sacrificially to others as He did. The words help us discover that condemnation is not a Christ-followers purpose, but that we are to give life in our words, our actions, and our attitudes.

Today, I am going to try and share these words. Not just in this blog or by lip service, but by sharing the love because He loved. I am going to try to give away service and action because He gave. I am NOT going to condemn, but strive to see beyond the condemnation into a place of love and support. He is a great God. I am going to honor His greatness by being willing to love beyond words. I am seeking to honor the people of influence in my life because God made it possible for me by bringing people of influence into my life.

How about joining me in being an influence today? You know I love ya, Don

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